We are closing in on IBM Edge 2013, a multi-track edutainment event focused on Big Blue storage technology taking place at Mandalay Bay Resort in Las Vegas from June 9 through June 14. The event reprises a very interesting and informative show staged closer to my house in Florida last year about this time. I delivered six Technical Edge sessions covering Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity Planning in 2012 and I guess my reviews were sufficiently positive to be invited back this year to deliver three sessions on data protection, one on tape and Linear Tape File System, and to participate in a panel discussion on social media.
Cliché as it may sound, I am looking forward to this trip – despite the grueling schedule leading up to the show and while on site. I found the first one, in 2012, to be one of the best shows, from a signal to noise standpoint, of all vendor sponsored events I had attended…ever.
I am also going to Edge 2013 with my journalist hat on. For one thing, I will be lugging my video camera with me to do some interviews, I hope, with some IBM smart guys. I am especially interested in learning more about
- Progress on IBM’s multiple storage management initiatives – and I mean multiple. Between their Tivoli Storage Manager, their Storage Director product, the storage cloud/software-defined storage stuff they are talking about on webinars that leverages SVC, and whatever progress they have made with Project Zero (enabling RESTful management of IBM gear), I find it difficult to discern a coherent strategy for storage management. Maybe some big data analytics are aimed at storage infrastructure?
- Speaking of Big Data, have we gotten any closer to brain-mimicking algorithms for sorting data and learning from it over time? If Jeff Jonas is there, maybe I can get him to talk about it.
- Of course, LTFS (IMHO) is the most important development in storage technology in years. I know that the uptake of the technology has been good in Broadcast and Pre/Post Media Editing, but are we seeing it going anywhere in other verticals? Also, what’s up with the noise around all other storage BUT tape? This year, I have heard a lot from IBM about FLASH storage (leveraging the purchase recently made of Texas Memory Instruments, I guess), and the new boss of IBM storage gave an interesting interview to El Reg at The Register not long ago where he suggested that IBM (like EMC and everyone else) was seeing momentum toward an all FLASH storage paradigm. Scary thought, that.
- So, is disk dead? (Hardly think so.) Is the future capture storage all FLASH, and retention storage is all TAPE? That is an interesting idea? Also, what does IBM think about the FLASH hype: can server hypervisors REALLY see their speeds and feeds improved by caching them with FLASH – or is this just so much spoofing?
- Speaking of which, an IBM partner/technology provider at the show is intriguing me with the idea that they have surmounted the challenges of latency in wide area networks. Has Einstein met his match, or is the vendor’s PR organization overstating the case? I’ll find out.
I will try to put as many of these questions to IBMers on camera, and maybe get a few customers to share their views as well. All will be posted here, together with some conventional blogs and my on-going live tweets about the show.
On a related tangent, Gartner was quoted in Processor.com on May 3 on pg. 17 of their print publication – Hey, I like newspapers; beats training puppies with an iPad! – to the effect that just 10% of business social media initiatives succeed. IBM has one of the best social media teams in the industry and either proves or disproves Gartner’s thesis, depending on what you see as the goals of social media.
As a business tool for IBM, social media provides great inroads through the often confusing morass of IBM technology initiatives and product announcements, webinars and events, management and strategy change-ups and refits. Basically, you would have to spend weeks on their web sites to find what you are seeking. With IBM social media, I only need to tweet a question to get all of the links I need. I call that successful.
Anyway, I am heading to IBM Edge on the 9th. I hope some of you are, too. Here’s the registration page.